April 9, 2009

Weather Blamed For Decline in Youth Turkey Season Harvest

Cooler temperatures and rain across much of the state on the second day of the two-day youth turkey season saw harvest totals drop from last year according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Hunters age 15 and under took advantage of the special youth season to harvest a total of 3,513 turkeys across Missouri. That was down from the 2008 harvest total of 4,141.

Scotland County saw a steep decline, with just 23 birds checked in on Saturday and Sunday. Thatís down 33% from last year.

Overall, northeast Missouri dropped from 343 birds last year to 296 in 2009. Adair County led the way with 28 turkeys harvested. That edged Macon and Pike counties (with 27 birds each) for top honors. Scotland County tied for the third highest total with Clark County.

Franklin County was tops in the state with 96 turkeys checked in by youth hunters. Osage County followed with 85 and Polk County had the third highest total with 61.

The youth hunt saw nearly 70% of its harvest consist of adult birds (2,009) compared to 876 juvenile or ďjakesĒ.

The regular spring turkey season will open April 20th and run through May 10th.

Youths who did not take a turkey on a Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit may still harvest a bird during the regular spring turkey season. Youths who took a turkey on a Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit (those between the age of 11-15 that had completed the hunter education course) may harvest a second bird, but not until the beginning of the second week of the regular season. This is because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.

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